Experts welcome recent drug law reforms

PETALING JAYA: Experts have applauded the recent drug law reforms, including the abolishment of the mandatory death penalty.

A group of 12 experts, including Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman from the Centre of Excellence for Research on AIDS (Ceria) and Professor Dr Vicknasingam Kasinather of the Centre for Drug Research, said that they welcomed the government's effort to revise punitive laws.

"It is with great pleasure that the scientific community, experts from various universities and research entities, doctors, and psychologists, extend our congratulations to the government of Malaysia for the recent passing of the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Bill 2023. We commend the government for its bold and courageous decision to implement this bill, which marks a significant milestone in the country's criminal justice system.

"We also appreciate that this decision is rooted in science, evidence, and compliance with Human Rights treaties of the UN," the statement said.

The group added that they welcome the announcement by Home Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution stating that a bill will be introduced to decriminalise the possession and usage of small quantities of drugs.

"We call for the government to work with us in deciding the threshold level of drugs which will separate a user from a dealer; the civil administrative procedures for those who are caught below such threshold level, the pathways to voluntary treatment and community based treatment, the role of the family and evidence based prevention methods. Mandatory rehabilitation for anyone caught with a small amount of drugs will not be effective and does not constitute decriminalisation.

"These nuts and bolts of decriminalisation policies will determine the success (or failure) of the Bill that is being proposed.

"The global and local evidence is clear. Incarceration and mandatory rehabilitation are not evidence-based responses to the problem of drug use and addiction," the statement said.

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Drugs , Reform , Death penalty , Experts


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